Thursday, June 02, 2011
"The B.C. Rail corruption trial made history in all sorts of sordid ways," writes Les Leyne today, almost 8 months after the BC Rail Political Corruption Trial was choked off.
... "But in legal circles - specifically in the defence bar - it's notable for being the biggest gravy train in the history of the province."
Today also, BC Finance Minister Kevin Falcon declares boldly that "There needs to be, frankly, more clarity." Right. So isn't the BC Liberal government shutting down the Legislature today, too?
No answer to the $6-million question
By Les Leyne
Times Colonist - June 2, 2011
... There isn't another case in history here - or likely elsewhere in the country - where a government was dumb enough to open the vault, let the lawyers in and then leave them to gorge for six long, lucrative years.
When two ministerial aides were first implicated in the scandal, there was some dimly understood obligation on the part of the government to cover their costs, to some extent. The political leadership was too busy running away from any potential involvement in the case to have anything to do with putting control in place.
So it fell to two deputy ministers to handle the time bomb as best they could.
They basically agreed to have the government cover the defence cost on an ongoing basis for the duration of the case. Which turned out to be over a half-decade in length. Which amounted to a staggering $6 million in fees.
There was some vague understanding that the indemnity would lapse if there was a conviction or a guilty plea. But that concept disappeared in the blink of an eye when Dave Basi and Bob Virk entered their guilty pleas last year.
From a practical point of view, it was considered an impossibility to get the millions back from the disgraced former aides.
And waiving any attempt to try was key to securing the pleas and saving the cost of finishing the trial, according to the Opposition's interpretation.
Finance Minister Kevin Falcon was grilled in the legislature this week on how the legal bonanza came to be.
He's the second minister in two weeks to be questioned on the $6-million payout, after Attorney General Barry Penner took the stand, so to speak.
Neither of them could shed much light on the story. And the utter opacity that cloaks the whole saga is remarkable.
The government accounts for every nickel it spends every year. Asked where in public accounts the funds are recorded, Falcon said it wasn't specifically listed. The openended obligation was disclosed once, in 2005, in an obscure statutory report.
He also confirmed there is no limit, once an indemnity is set. It was essentially extended on the assumption the individuals were acting in good faith and were innocent until proven otherwise, he said.
Was it in writing?
The only thing in writing about covering legal fees is a part of the public service manual that applies mostly to civil suits.
"That is really the extent of the policy, which is part of the problem," Falcon said. "There needs to be, frankly, more clarity."
There was only one control the government had once they opened the vault. It put a charge on the title to at least one of the defendants' houses.
That was quickly extinguished as part of the plea bargain.
Questioned by NDP finance critic Bruce Ralston, Falcon said there was never any internal audit of the deal.
Falcon acknowledged the legal payout "caused much political angst for government and members of the public."
The rest of his explanation consisted of repeatedly citing the independent review of the mess by University of British Columbia president Stanley Toope. Penner has retained him to write a comprehensive new policy.
Penner's explanation of the situation earlier was just as weak.
He didn't know who sat down for the government and negotiated the deal with Basi and Virk.
He said "ordinarily" an independent lawyer would check all the incoming bills, but he couldn't say it happened in this case.
And when asked to produce a copy of the actual deal, he said it's protected by "solicitor-client privilege."
So the cheques rolled out for years on end with no internal audits as to what they were about. No politicians had anything to do with anything.
The bureaucrats they relied on to clean up the mess had no policy to go on, so they made one up.
Whatever deal was done directly with the defendants at the outset of the case you can't see, because it's privileged.
And whatever deal was reached to conclude the case was explained in a one-page news release that no politician now wants to explain.
Read Leyne's full column HERE.
Their bills ran higher than the Defence team's bills, didn't they? And if I'm not further mistaken, Berardino's time-clock is still very much ON.
Somehow the lamestream media just can't seem to tell the whole story.
You almost get the feeling, after reading Leyne's column today, that everything is as it should be.
It is about time for real public rallies to sort out the huge corruption that is engulfing British Columbia.
Another premier in the house that doesn't know what is going on !!!!
"The Clark/Campbell Troupe of Circus Clowns" in action again - it would be very funny if it wasn't so tragic, disgusting and evil.
Something has to be done - maybe the expected corruption for the HST mail in ballot, will be enough to start something.
Let's see some articles calling on a full public inquirey into the BC Rail deal. Let's see some articles calling for a full investigation into the willful destruction of evidence from the premier's office right on down.
Section 46 of the Criminal Code of Canada has two degrees of treason, called "high treason" and "treason." However both of these belong to the historical category of high treason, as opposed to petty treason which does not exist in Canadian law. Section 46 reads as follows:
Wikileaks has said, the N.A.U. is on the way.
Canada will be the, largest state in the U.S. The American people, are madder than hell about it. They intend to fight the N.A.U. right to the last ditch. They absolutely despise Harper.
We will be known as, the Mexcanericans, our new currency will be, the Amero dollar. The U.S. citizens, have seen the N.A.U. coming for a long time. Canadians didn't, or didn't want to see. We Canadians are considered wusses.
Harper and Campbell have cleaned BC right out. All of BC's vast resources and assets, Campbell thieved and sold, have not eased the terrible tax burden, from the citizens one iota.
Who benefits from the forced, Enbridge pipeline and the dirty oil tankers from China? We sure in the hell don't. BC gets the tanker spill and the pipe bursts, and that's all we get.
Who benefits from our many mines? The huge corporations, Campbell and Harper work for.
Who will benefit from, the oil and gas wells, drilled off BC's coast? Harper and Campbell have worked on that too. None of that oil and gas will benefit the BC people. The giant corporations own that too.
Harper left the back door open to, reapply for the expansion of Prosperity Mine. Expect the expansion.
All of BC's natural resources and assets thieved, belong to the people of this province. Our natural resources should have eased the terrible tax burden, forced on the BC people.
All that is left for Harper and Campbell to do, is thieve the HST to completion. The giant company's, are lined up at the trough, squealing for that too.
Don't think Christy has a hand, in the future of BC. This was all mapped out, before Christy was even on the scene.
Do you really think, Harper and Campbell, would allow Christy to handle this thieving of the province. Not bloody likely. After the HST scam is through, Harper and Campbell could care less, what Christy does. Everything of value has been stripped out of BC.
Don't count on BC getting the ship building contract. Harper is as every bit as arrogant and vindictive as his good buddy Campbell is. BC and Quebec, did not support Harper. I can see Nova Scotia getting the contract.
So, please continue to pass these stories on, for those of us who can't afford to read them!
The BC courts are corrupt. The judges are corrupt, and their decision is law. The police are corrupt, how many times have our corrupt judges let them off, with down right terrible crimes, caught on video? Elections BC is corrupt.
There is nothing in this province, that isn't corrupt. We could provide a thousand documents, that would proove Campbell a criminal, the judge would let him off.
Christ is trying to play a big wheel. The course for BC was set by, Harper and Campbell, long before Christy was even on the scene.
We see her non answers of the corrupt sale of the BCR. Christy, her ex and her brother, were implicated in Campbell's crime. But, just like Campbell, Christy out and out lies, and cheats, if she is afraid she won't win fairly.
Campbell and everyone, involved in that criminal case, all belong in prisone, where they belong.
You'll find a way ... either at your Public Library ... or google ... or something. At least, I hope so.
I'd like to reprint complete articles but the copyright law is a good law which tries to ensure that those who have done the work get paid when it is used.
There are some newspapers (Toronto Star, for one) which is not only the best in Canada but is also totally free, online. And much appreciated.
When will the lamestream media begin to do the real research and the real math so they can ask the real questions that are in need of answer?